NBA Conference Semifinals 2016 Preview – Pound The Under In The NBA Playoffs Follow Up


 

Mike Lundin took a look at totals trends in the NBA playoffs for the past couple of seasons in this article. The conclusion was that in 2015 and up until April 20th 2016, over bettors had been smoked by the bookmakers while under bettors had been making an absolute killing.

The trend has held true since with the O/U currently at 14-30-2 entering Monday May 2, 2016’s games, that is 65 percent unders so far in this years playoffs.

It is however noteworthy that both second-round games so far have gone over the total, and that by quite a large margin as San Antonio Spurs annihilated Oklahoma City Thunder 124-92 in their series-opener while Golden State showed Portland no mercy and won 118-106 last night.

Let’s take a look at the Conference Semifinals series to see if we can expect the under to stay dominant or if the matchups will favor over bettors in this round.

Eastern Conference

Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

The first meeting will take place Monday night with the total opening at 200 points. Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings overall and 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in Cleveland.

Atlanta did play some impressive defense against Boston in the previous round, but the question is wether they can contain Lebron James who operated at will in the conference finals against the Hawks last year by averaging 30.3 points, 11 rebounds and 9.3 assists.

Lebron continued his dominance of the Hawks this season with averages of 27.3 points, 11 rebounds and 7.8 assists in three regular-season meetings, and if this is the number the books will stick with for this series I can see plenty of games going over the total.

Miami Heat vs. Toronto Raptors

The Heat averaged 119 points over two high-scoring wins against Charlotte to start their Conference Quarterfinals, but each of the following five games in the series went under the total. The Raptors had trouble to get their offense going against Indiana but defended quite well.

The series-opener Tuesday is set at 191.5 points which looks just about right. This is a series we probably need to wait one or two games to figure out.

Western Conference

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have hardly missed a beat despite losing their MVP Stephen Curry to a knee-injury. Portland was clearly overmatched in Sunday’s 118-106 Warriors win, and over is now 6-2 in Warriors last 8 home games.

We can also note that the over is 13-3 in the last 16 meetings, and as both teams have quality backcourts we are likely to see the threes rain in this series. The over for Game 1 was set at 209 points but is set at 213.5 points for the second game.

The overs could rule this series unless the bookmakers up that number another 2-3 points.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs played close to perfect defense against the Grizzlies to breeze past them in the Conference Quarterfinals but it was their offense that gave them a 1-0 lead in this series on Saturday. The Spurs scored 73 points in the first half alone as they rolled to a 124-92 win.

The Thunder got the offense to compete with teams like the Warriors and the Spurs, but they’re nowhere near them defensively. How many points per game this series sees depends completely on San Antonio’s approach. If they decide to keep outscoring the Thunder we’ll see plenty of overs. If they decide to win with lockdown defense, back the under.

Conclusion

The only series where I think the majority of the games will stay under the total is Heat vs. Raptors. This all depends on the numbers though, but don’t be surprised if the O/U is closer to 60 percent in favor of the under when the Conference Semifinals are over instead of 65 percent as of now.

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